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Buying an education reform movement in Minnesota

Ever since the first charter schools were opened in Minnesota in the early 1990s corporate education activists have worked in many different ways to remove regulation from them and to fund an entire ecosystem built up around creating, advocating for, helping, and protecting charter schools. As you can see from the chart above, this movement has picked up significant new funding since 2008. The range of institutions funded can appear to be mind boggling, and local non-profit media has taken part in this fiscal deluge and has essentially become part of an allliance to undo public education, particularly in the Twin Cities metro area.

The purpose of this website is to shed light on the funding of this ecosystem, and provide editorial content based on that funding, including profiles on funders, recipients and people, and provide links to stories on this ecosystem around the web. We will also provide original editorial content analyzing the structure, methods and ideologies of those entities.


THIS WEBSITE has a lot of data, most of it entered by one person. There are over 5,200 grants and more than 600 recipients. There are 30 funders. Given that quantity of data, and the analysis that goes with it, there will probably be errors. If you find one, please contact us for correction.

Rob Levine

Rob Levine bibliography
Performing feats of legerdemain
There's a big difference between a teacher's rating on a flawed and invalid evaluation system and her "performance." Just don't try and tell that to local media.
High performing Charter Schools: Beating the odds, or beating the test?
School Reformers' Choir: Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates All Sing From Same Hymnal
The ConnCan con: MinnCon next?
Inside MinnCAN: Political intent, dissembling, and big payments to 50CAN
Nine-part series on School Choice & Authoritarianism
    Part 1: Deformed: Authoritarian undercurrents in education
    Part 2: The danger to education and democracy posed by authoritarianism
    Part 3: School choice birthed in authoritarian racial animus and market fundamentalism
    Part 4: Education deformers achieve political success through a culture of lying, repetition, and compliance, not logic, reason and evidence
    Part 5: Deformed schools: Reduced diversity, authoritarian education styles, narrowed curriculum, and harming of critical thinking skills
    Part 6: Collapse of authority breeds authoritarianism
    Part 7: Replacing democracy with authoritarianism
    Part 8: The authoritarian journalism of education reform
    Part 9: Authoritarianism on the march
Charter schools crash and burn in Minnesota
Disseminating propaganda: The National Council on Teacher Quality
Propagating a dishonest narrative
A lesson in Plutocracy
The anti-democratic politics of Minnesota's largest philanthropies
Schools failing? Yes, if steady improvement equals failure
Creating little authoritarians
Bullshit and bellow: Deformers aim to destroy traditional schools of education
Let's show our schools some love


About the grant data

Read about how grants are selected for inclusion in the database.